Body Art!

Carousel Hello, Nicola here. Today I’m talking about body art, specifically tattoos! This isn’t meant in any way to be a comprehensive history of the art of the tattoo, more an explanation of how I became interested in the subject after a tattoo slipped unexpectedly into my most recent book…

I say that the idea slipped in there unexpectedly because I genuinely don’t know why I decided to give my heroine a tattoo. I don’t even know where the idea came from. At this point I have to come out and admit that I’m not a great fan of body art personally – I’m too squeamish for one thing – but that I hugely admire the creativity of some people who choose to decorate themselves this way.  And of course giving the heroine of a Regency book a tattoo is pretty controversial and I’m braced for some comments. It would have been easier to tattoo the hero, especially if he was in the British Navy. But a heroine? How could that possibly be historically accurate? Well…

 

The art of the tattoo has a long history, of course. It’s thought to date back at least 5000 years. The word tattoo itself is said to derive from the Polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something’. In Europe it was the Celts who brought with them to Britain the widespread use of body art, painting themselves with woad in patterns of spirals, knots and braids to symbolise the interconnectedness of life.  Research by Newcastle University also shows that Roman soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall had a military tattoo. Written evidence for the practice comes from the Epitome of Military Science, written around the 4th century AD by the Roman chronicler Vegetius. He recounted that recruits to the Roman legions would have to earn their tattoo once they had been tested by physical exercises. A written record from the 10th century traveller Ahmad Ibn Fadlan records a meeting with Viking traders in which they are described as being tattooed from "fingernails to neck" with dark blue or dark green "tree patterns" and other "figures."

Despite these early references, tattoos have left little trace (pardon the pun) iTatt2n the subsequent written record and it is not until the eighteenth century that I could find further references to them in European culture. It was the voyages of Captain Cook and other explorers to Polynesia that re-introduced tattooing into the European  cultural consciousness. Not only did these explorers return home with tattooed Polynesians to exhibit at fairs, lecture halls and in museums but it also became a tradition in the British Navy for sailors to have tattoos. By the middle of the eighteenth century many British ports had a professional tattoo artist in residence. An anchor designed showed that a sailor had crossed the Atlantic, an image of a fully rigged ship meant that he had sailed around Cape Horn and a shell-backed turtle that he had crossed the Equator.

During the Georgian and Regency period it was the travelling fairs and circuses that Bartholomew Fair 1808 promoted the popularity of tattooing. Astley’s Ampitheatre and The Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy were two of the London circuses that featured acrobats, rope-dancers, jugglers, sword-swallowers and clowns as well as equestrian displays. During the nineteenth century it became the norm for every major circus to employ several tattooed people. Some were displayed in sideshows and others were performers. But it was mainly via the local fairs that body art spread to the mass of the working classes.

Enter Alice Lister, the heroine of my second trilogy book, The Scandals Scandals of an Innocent of an Innocent. Alice may be an heiress but she is a former housemaid whose eccentric and lonely employer left her a fortune. Alice belonged to a class for whom the fair was a treat from the drudgery of normal life: “the delight of apprentices, the abomination of their masters – the solace of maid servants, the dread of their mistresses – the encouragement of thieves…” The fair was a rough place after dark. It attracted “the light-fingered gentry” as one newspaper from the nineteenth century put it. It was dark and dangerous and raffish with its exhibition of dwarves and giants, its amateur boxing ring and drinking booths. A respectable woman would be unlikely to venture there and if she did it (as the character of Jane Austen did in the recent film Becoming Jane) then it would be with a heavy male escort. Alice, in contrast, goes with a gaggle of other maidservants on their night off. She sees the sideshows, the giants and freaks and dwarves, some with their tattoos. She drinks mead, sweet with honey, and then, encouraged by her giggling friends she is tempted into the tattooist’s tent where the old woman tells her a tattoo won’t hurt much and her lover will like it. Alice is naïve and thinks the picture will eventually wash off. But two years later when she is by fortune if not by birth a lady of quality, the tattoo is something scandalous and shocking. In the immortal words of the Duchess of Cole on hearing the scandalous rumour: “My dear Miss Lister, tattoos are for circus freaks and sailors…” Poor Alice! Already struggling to adjust to life in a different level of society, she knows that the possession of a tattoo literally marks her as a woman who is unsuitable to be a marchioness.

 Tatt This association of the tattoo with the working classes is interesting. Some social reformers associated tattoos with deviance and criminality and asserted that the only females to have tattoos were prostitutes. However the practice was far more widespread than that amongst the lower classes. The wives of sailors were amongst the  first women to be tattooed and in the mid-nineteenth century Princess Marie of Denmark had a tattoo of an anchor in order to show that she too was the wife of a sailor. In the middle to late nineteenth century tattoos became acceptable in the upper classes when the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, had a tattoo of a Jerusalem cross on his arm. In 1882 his son, the future King George V, had a tattoo of a dragon. Society ladies also picked up on this fashion with the Marchioness of Londonderry sporting the tattoo of a snake on her wrist. Tattoos became more socially acceptable because they were visibly sported by people who were themselves socially accepted.

 

My question is: if you were to have a historical tattoo, what would it be? A Tudor rose? A Celtic knot? I'm offering a copy of my July release, The Scandals of an Innocent, for the most creative suggestion!

180 thoughts on “Body Art!”

  1. Hi Nicola!
    The hero of my upcoming book TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR ended up with a tattoo as well, but not in the way I expected! I wrote the book, completed revisions and copyedits, and then a few weeks ago, I saw the cover art for the first time. Imagine my surprise when the medieval Irish hero, Ewan MacEgan, had a tattoo on his upper left arm. (see cover here: http://www.michellewillingham.com/images/ewan.jpg )
    My first reaction was–but, but, he doesn’t have a tattoo! When I studied it more, I realized that it gave him a wilder edge. He’s a hero who very much goes against the grain and the tattoo suited him. Like you, I turned to the history books and found that Celtic tattoos were definitely a part of their culture, and many were a mark of honor among warriors. I sent a quick note to my editor, asking if I could add the tattoo to the hero’s physical description. We raced against the printing press, and neither of us knows if the tattoo actually made it into the book! Guess I’ll find out when I get my author copies!

    Reply
  2. Hi Nicola!
    The hero of my upcoming book TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR ended up with a tattoo as well, but not in the way I expected! I wrote the book, completed revisions and copyedits, and then a few weeks ago, I saw the cover art for the first time. Imagine my surprise when the medieval Irish hero, Ewan MacEgan, had a tattoo on his upper left arm. (see cover here: http://www.michellewillingham.com/images/ewan.jpg )
    My first reaction was–but, but, he doesn’t have a tattoo! When I studied it more, I realized that it gave him a wilder edge. He’s a hero who very much goes against the grain and the tattoo suited him. Like you, I turned to the history books and found that Celtic tattoos were definitely a part of their culture, and many were a mark of honor among warriors. I sent a quick note to my editor, asking if I could add the tattoo to the hero’s physical description. We raced against the printing press, and neither of us knows if the tattoo actually made it into the book! Guess I’ll find out when I get my author copies!

    Reply
  3. Hi Nicola!
    The hero of my upcoming book TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR ended up with a tattoo as well, but not in the way I expected! I wrote the book, completed revisions and copyedits, and then a few weeks ago, I saw the cover art for the first time. Imagine my surprise when the medieval Irish hero, Ewan MacEgan, had a tattoo on his upper left arm. (see cover here: http://www.michellewillingham.com/images/ewan.jpg )
    My first reaction was–but, but, he doesn’t have a tattoo! When I studied it more, I realized that it gave him a wilder edge. He’s a hero who very much goes against the grain and the tattoo suited him. Like you, I turned to the history books and found that Celtic tattoos were definitely a part of their culture, and many were a mark of honor among warriors. I sent a quick note to my editor, asking if I could add the tattoo to the hero’s physical description. We raced against the printing press, and neither of us knows if the tattoo actually made it into the book! Guess I’ll find out when I get my author copies!

    Reply
  4. Hi Nicola!
    The hero of my upcoming book TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR ended up with a tattoo as well, but not in the way I expected! I wrote the book, completed revisions and copyedits, and then a few weeks ago, I saw the cover art for the first time. Imagine my surprise when the medieval Irish hero, Ewan MacEgan, had a tattoo on his upper left arm. (see cover here: http://www.michellewillingham.com/images/ewan.jpg )
    My first reaction was–but, but, he doesn’t have a tattoo! When I studied it more, I realized that it gave him a wilder edge. He’s a hero who very much goes against the grain and the tattoo suited him. Like you, I turned to the history books and found that Celtic tattoos were definitely a part of their culture, and many were a mark of honor among warriors. I sent a quick note to my editor, asking if I could add the tattoo to the hero’s physical description. We raced against the printing press, and neither of us knows if the tattoo actually made it into the book! Guess I’ll find out when I get my author copies!

    Reply
  5. Hi Nicola!
    The hero of my upcoming book TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR ended up with a tattoo as well, but not in the way I expected! I wrote the book, completed revisions and copyedits, and then a few weeks ago, I saw the cover art for the first time. Imagine my surprise when the medieval Irish hero, Ewan MacEgan, had a tattoo on his upper left arm. (see cover here: http://www.michellewillingham.com/images/ewan.jpg )
    My first reaction was–but, but, he doesn’t have a tattoo! When I studied it more, I realized that it gave him a wilder edge. He’s a hero who very much goes against the grain and the tattoo suited him. Like you, I turned to the history books and found that Celtic tattoos were definitely a part of their culture, and many were a mark of honor among warriors. I sent a quick note to my editor, asking if I could add the tattoo to the hero’s physical description. We raced against the printing press, and neither of us knows if the tattoo actually made it into the book! Guess I’ll find out when I get my author copies!

    Reply
  6. LOL, Michelle, that’s quite something for your hero to turn up on the cover with a tattoo when you weren’t expecting it! But as you say, that fits right in with the idea of tattoos for Celtic warriors as a mark of honour.

    Reply
  7. LOL, Michelle, that’s quite something for your hero to turn up on the cover with a tattoo when you weren’t expecting it! But as you say, that fits right in with the idea of tattoos for Celtic warriors as a mark of honour.

    Reply
  8. LOL, Michelle, that’s quite something for your hero to turn up on the cover with a tattoo when you weren’t expecting it! But as you say, that fits right in with the idea of tattoos for Celtic warriors as a mark of honour.

    Reply
  9. LOL, Michelle, that’s quite something for your hero to turn up on the cover with a tattoo when you weren’t expecting it! But as you say, that fits right in with the idea of tattoos for Celtic warriors as a mark of honour.

    Reply
  10. LOL, Michelle, that’s quite something for your hero to turn up on the cover with a tattoo when you weren’t expecting it! But as you say, that fits right in with the idea of tattoos for Celtic warriors as a mark of honour.

    Reply
  11. Gosh how funny about the book artwork popping up with the tattoo-I guess I thought you guys approved your book covers! Guess not!
    My vote is for a moon tattoo-I have a small one on my lower back where no one sees it. Reminds me of the ever changing moon phases. I went by myself and got it when I was 19, it was a very personal thing for me.

    Reply
  12. Gosh how funny about the book artwork popping up with the tattoo-I guess I thought you guys approved your book covers! Guess not!
    My vote is for a moon tattoo-I have a small one on my lower back where no one sees it. Reminds me of the ever changing moon phases. I went by myself and got it when I was 19, it was a very personal thing for me.

    Reply
  13. Gosh how funny about the book artwork popping up with the tattoo-I guess I thought you guys approved your book covers! Guess not!
    My vote is for a moon tattoo-I have a small one on my lower back where no one sees it. Reminds me of the ever changing moon phases. I went by myself and got it when I was 19, it was a very personal thing for me.

    Reply
  14. Gosh how funny about the book artwork popping up with the tattoo-I guess I thought you guys approved your book covers! Guess not!
    My vote is for a moon tattoo-I have a small one on my lower back where no one sees it. Reminds me of the ever changing moon phases. I went by myself and got it when I was 19, it was a very personal thing for me.

    Reply
  15. Gosh how funny about the book artwork popping up with the tattoo-I guess I thought you guys approved your book covers! Guess not!
    My vote is for a moon tattoo-I have a small one on my lower back where no one sees it. Reminds me of the ever changing moon phases. I went by myself and got it when I was 19, it was a very personal thing for me.

    Reply
  16. I love the idea of a moon tattoo, Liz! I think that body art can be a very ,very special and personal form of expression, can’t it.
    As for book covers, sometimes we do get to approve them – and sometimes we don’t! I’m very lucky that I got to see the gorgeous Brides of Fortune covers before they were agreed but Alice’s tattoo doesn’t feature on the cover because… ahem!… it’s somewhere less visible!

    Reply
  17. I love the idea of a moon tattoo, Liz! I think that body art can be a very ,very special and personal form of expression, can’t it.
    As for book covers, sometimes we do get to approve them – and sometimes we don’t! I’m very lucky that I got to see the gorgeous Brides of Fortune covers before they were agreed but Alice’s tattoo doesn’t feature on the cover because… ahem!… it’s somewhere less visible!

    Reply
  18. I love the idea of a moon tattoo, Liz! I think that body art can be a very ,very special and personal form of expression, can’t it.
    As for book covers, sometimes we do get to approve them – and sometimes we don’t! I’m very lucky that I got to see the gorgeous Brides of Fortune covers before they were agreed but Alice’s tattoo doesn’t feature on the cover because… ahem!… it’s somewhere less visible!

    Reply
  19. I love the idea of a moon tattoo, Liz! I think that body art can be a very ,very special and personal form of expression, can’t it.
    As for book covers, sometimes we do get to approve them – and sometimes we don’t! I’m very lucky that I got to see the gorgeous Brides of Fortune covers before they were agreed but Alice’s tattoo doesn’t feature on the cover because… ahem!… it’s somewhere less visible!

    Reply
  20. I love the idea of a moon tattoo, Liz! I think that body art can be a very ,very special and personal form of expression, can’t it.
    As for book covers, sometimes we do get to approve them – and sometimes we don’t! I’m very lucky that I got to see the gorgeous Brides of Fortune covers before they were agreed but Alice’s tattoo doesn’t feature on the cover because… ahem!… it’s somewhere less visible!

    Reply
  21. See, I’m just not into tattoos. Cannot appreciate them. Maybe a small discrete one. On a man, I like the tattoo that encircles the bicep, but I’m just not into the whole “body art” thing. I can’t appreciate the people who have entire limbs covered in tattoos. I don’t know why, they look busy, contrived. Maybe I just appreciate the human form as it is…
    Having said that, if (big if) I were to put a tattoo on this middle aged body, my preference would be a Canadian maple leaf (I am Canadian – and proud of it), but since that isn’t historical, I think I’d go for a Celtic symbol. I’m not Celtic (ooh, mayb 1/8th) but I like the symbolism of the entwined/linked line.
    Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

    Reply
  22. See, I’m just not into tattoos. Cannot appreciate them. Maybe a small discrete one. On a man, I like the tattoo that encircles the bicep, but I’m just not into the whole “body art” thing. I can’t appreciate the people who have entire limbs covered in tattoos. I don’t know why, they look busy, contrived. Maybe I just appreciate the human form as it is…
    Having said that, if (big if) I were to put a tattoo on this middle aged body, my preference would be a Canadian maple leaf (I am Canadian – and proud of it), but since that isn’t historical, I think I’d go for a Celtic symbol. I’m not Celtic (ooh, mayb 1/8th) but I like the symbolism of the entwined/linked line.
    Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

    Reply
  23. See, I’m just not into tattoos. Cannot appreciate them. Maybe a small discrete one. On a man, I like the tattoo that encircles the bicep, but I’m just not into the whole “body art” thing. I can’t appreciate the people who have entire limbs covered in tattoos. I don’t know why, they look busy, contrived. Maybe I just appreciate the human form as it is…
    Having said that, if (big if) I were to put a tattoo on this middle aged body, my preference would be a Canadian maple leaf (I am Canadian – and proud of it), but since that isn’t historical, I think I’d go for a Celtic symbol. I’m not Celtic (ooh, mayb 1/8th) but I like the symbolism of the entwined/linked line.
    Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

    Reply
  24. See, I’m just not into tattoos. Cannot appreciate them. Maybe a small discrete one. On a man, I like the tattoo that encircles the bicep, but I’m just not into the whole “body art” thing. I can’t appreciate the people who have entire limbs covered in tattoos. I don’t know why, they look busy, contrived. Maybe I just appreciate the human form as it is…
    Having said that, if (big if) I were to put a tattoo on this middle aged body, my preference would be a Canadian maple leaf (I am Canadian – and proud of it), but since that isn’t historical, I think I’d go for a Celtic symbol. I’m not Celtic (ooh, mayb 1/8th) but I like the symbolism of the entwined/linked line.
    Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

    Reply
  25. See, I’m just not into tattoos. Cannot appreciate them. Maybe a small discrete one. On a man, I like the tattoo that encircles the bicep, but I’m just not into the whole “body art” thing. I can’t appreciate the people who have entire limbs covered in tattoos. I don’t know why, they look busy, contrived. Maybe I just appreciate the human form as it is…
    Having said that, if (big if) I were to put a tattoo on this middle aged body, my preference would be a Canadian maple leaf (I am Canadian – and proud of it), but since that isn’t historical, I think I’d go for a Celtic symbol. I’m not Celtic (ooh, mayb 1/8th) but I like the symbolism of the entwined/linked line.
    Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

    Reply
  26. What a fascinating post! 100% of my four children have a tattoo somewhere or another (I THINK I’ve seen them all, LOL). I admit to being fairly horrified, even if one daughter was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from college, and the rest are equally intelligent, upright citizens.
    And while I did bear the pain of having four kids, I could not bear the pain of being tattooed. But a little red ladybug on my hip would be cute. 🙂

    Reply
  27. What a fascinating post! 100% of my four children have a tattoo somewhere or another (I THINK I’ve seen them all, LOL). I admit to being fairly horrified, even if one daughter was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from college, and the rest are equally intelligent, upright citizens.
    And while I did bear the pain of having four kids, I could not bear the pain of being tattooed. But a little red ladybug on my hip would be cute. 🙂

    Reply
  28. What a fascinating post! 100% of my four children have a tattoo somewhere or another (I THINK I’ve seen them all, LOL). I admit to being fairly horrified, even if one daughter was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from college, and the rest are equally intelligent, upright citizens.
    And while I did bear the pain of having four kids, I could not bear the pain of being tattooed. But a little red ladybug on my hip would be cute. 🙂

    Reply
  29. What a fascinating post! 100% of my four children have a tattoo somewhere or another (I THINK I’ve seen them all, LOL). I admit to being fairly horrified, even if one daughter was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from college, and the rest are equally intelligent, upright citizens.
    And while I did bear the pain of having four kids, I could not bear the pain of being tattooed. But a little red ladybug on my hip would be cute. 🙂

    Reply
  30. What a fascinating post! 100% of my four children have a tattoo somewhere or another (I THINK I’ve seen them all, LOL). I admit to being fairly horrified, even if one daughter was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from college, and the rest are equally intelligent, upright citizens.
    And while I did bear the pain of having four kids, I could not bear the pain of being tattooed. But a little red ladybug on my hip would be cute. 🙂

    Reply
  31. I wouldn’t have a tattoo at all, but my daughter has the Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Waves (aka Venus on a Clamshell, to the irreverent) on her right hip. It’s good-sized.

    Reply
  32. I wouldn’t have a tattoo at all, but my daughter has the Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Waves (aka Venus on a Clamshell, to the irreverent) on her right hip. It’s good-sized.

    Reply
  33. I wouldn’t have a tattoo at all, but my daughter has the Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Waves (aka Venus on a Clamshell, to the irreverent) on her right hip. It’s good-sized.

    Reply
  34. I wouldn’t have a tattoo at all, but my daughter has the Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Waves (aka Venus on a Clamshell, to the irreverent) on her right hip. It’s good-sized.

    Reply
  35. I wouldn’t have a tattoo at all, but my daughter has the Botticelli’s Venus Rising from the Waves (aka Venus on a Clamshell, to the irreverent) on her right hip. It’s good-sized.

    Reply
  36. I’m not big into tattoos either, Piper, but I do like the symbolism of the Celtic knots and the idea of the different strands of life separate yet intertwined. Maggie, the pain aspect puts me off as well LOL! Might be worth it for a Venus on a Clamshell, though! If I was going for it, I think I’d choose a Yorkist white rose. I can’t think of a better way to tattoo my allegiance to Richard III – a whyte boar might be a bit much!

    Reply
  37. I’m not big into tattoos either, Piper, but I do like the symbolism of the Celtic knots and the idea of the different strands of life separate yet intertwined. Maggie, the pain aspect puts me off as well LOL! Might be worth it for a Venus on a Clamshell, though! If I was going for it, I think I’d choose a Yorkist white rose. I can’t think of a better way to tattoo my allegiance to Richard III – a whyte boar might be a bit much!

    Reply
  38. I’m not big into tattoos either, Piper, but I do like the symbolism of the Celtic knots and the idea of the different strands of life separate yet intertwined. Maggie, the pain aspect puts me off as well LOL! Might be worth it for a Venus on a Clamshell, though! If I was going for it, I think I’d choose a Yorkist white rose. I can’t think of a better way to tattoo my allegiance to Richard III – a whyte boar might be a bit much!

    Reply
  39. I’m not big into tattoos either, Piper, but I do like the symbolism of the Celtic knots and the idea of the different strands of life separate yet intertwined. Maggie, the pain aspect puts me off as well LOL! Might be worth it for a Venus on a Clamshell, though! If I was going for it, I think I’d choose a Yorkist white rose. I can’t think of a better way to tattoo my allegiance to Richard III – a whyte boar might be a bit much!

    Reply
  40. I’m not big into tattoos either, Piper, but I do like the symbolism of the Celtic knots and the idea of the different strands of life separate yet intertwined. Maggie, the pain aspect puts me off as well LOL! Might be worth it for a Venus on a Clamshell, though! If I was going for it, I think I’d choose a Yorkist white rose. I can’t think of a better way to tattoo my allegiance to Richard III – a whyte boar might be a bit much!

    Reply
  41. I’m not a fan of pain, especially avoidable pain. Tattoos have always been painful, and before the introduction of antibiotics, might cause your death. I don’t even have my ears pierced, because the piercing would hurt.
    Linda, who has quite a collection of clip-on earrings.

    Reply
  42. I’m not a fan of pain, especially avoidable pain. Tattoos have always been painful, and before the introduction of antibiotics, might cause your death. I don’t even have my ears pierced, because the piercing would hurt.
    Linda, who has quite a collection of clip-on earrings.

    Reply
  43. I’m not a fan of pain, especially avoidable pain. Tattoos have always been painful, and before the introduction of antibiotics, might cause your death. I don’t even have my ears pierced, because the piercing would hurt.
    Linda, who has quite a collection of clip-on earrings.

    Reply
  44. I’m not a fan of pain, especially avoidable pain. Tattoos have always been painful, and before the introduction of antibiotics, might cause your death. I don’t even have my ears pierced, because the piercing would hurt.
    Linda, who has quite a collection of clip-on earrings.

    Reply
  45. I’m not a fan of pain, especially avoidable pain. Tattoos have always been painful, and before the introduction of antibiotics, might cause your death. I don’t even have my ears pierced, because the piercing would hurt.
    Linda, who has quite a collection of clip-on earrings.

    Reply
  46. My oldest son took the money he got as gifts when he graduated high school and got his first tattoo (that and his signing up for the Army Reserves really brought home to my husband and I that 18 y.o. are legally adults and can do what they want here in the US). He now has several scattered about his upper body, although he had to have a few altered before he went to Iraq in case he was captured. My favorite is two figures from a Chagall painting.
    Must admit, however, that I’m actually not a fan. Too often people in their 20s get tattoos on body parts that sag in their 50s, and the effect is not felicitous. Not to mention I always wonder about what happens when and if one gets bored with the tattoos one has. Henna strikes me as perfect, as it’s beautiful but fades relatively quickly, and you can get a different design each time.
    While the likelihood is small (see comments above), if I were to get a tattoo I’d go for a floral design such as I saw on tiles and on the walls of mosques when I recently visited Istanbul or I’d get one that looked like a Hokkusai (sp?) painting — love the colors and flowing shapes — or a Chinese dragon.

    Reply
  47. My oldest son took the money he got as gifts when he graduated high school and got his first tattoo (that and his signing up for the Army Reserves really brought home to my husband and I that 18 y.o. are legally adults and can do what they want here in the US). He now has several scattered about his upper body, although he had to have a few altered before he went to Iraq in case he was captured. My favorite is two figures from a Chagall painting.
    Must admit, however, that I’m actually not a fan. Too often people in their 20s get tattoos on body parts that sag in their 50s, and the effect is not felicitous. Not to mention I always wonder about what happens when and if one gets bored with the tattoos one has. Henna strikes me as perfect, as it’s beautiful but fades relatively quickly, and you can get a different design each time.
    While the likelihood is small (see comments above), if I were to get a tattoo I’d go for a floral design such as I saw on tiles and on the walls of mosques when I recently visited Istanbul or I’d get one that looked like a Hokkusai (sp?) painting — love the colors and flowing shapes — or a Chinese dragon.

    Reply
  48. My oldest son took the money he got as gifts when he graduated high school and got his first tattoo (that and his signing up for the Army Reserves really brought home to my husband and I that 18 y.o. are legally adults and can do what they want here in the US). He now has several scattered about his upper body, although he had to have a few altered before he went to Iraq in case he was captured. My favorite is two figures from a Chagall painting.
    Must admit, however, that I’m actually not a fan. Too often people in their 20s get tattoos on body parts that sag in their 50s, and the effect is not felicitous. Not to mention I always wonder about what happens when and if one gets bored with the tattoos one has. Henna strikes me as perfect, as it’s beautiful but fades relatively quickly, and you can get a different design each time.
    While the likelihood is small (see comments above), if I were to get a tattoo I’d go for a floral design such as I saw on tiles and on the walls of mosques when I recently visited Istanbul or I’d get one that looked like a Hokkusai (sp?) painting — love the colors and flowing shapes — or a Chinese dragon.

    Reply
  49. My oldest son took the money he got as gifts when he graduated high school and got his first tattoo (that and his signing up for the Army Reserves really brought home to my husband and I that 18 y.o. are legally adults and can do what they want here in the US). He now has several scattered about his upper body, although he had to have a few altered before he went to Iraq in case he was captured. My favorite is two figures from a Chagall painting.
    Must admit, however, that I’m actually not a fan. Too often people in their 20s get tattoos on body parts that sag in their 50s, and the effect is not felicitous. Not to mention I always wonder about what happens when and if one gets bored with the tattoos one has. Henna strikes me as perfect, as it’s beautiful but fades relatively quickly, and you can get a different design each time.
    While the likelihood is small (see comments above), if I were to get a tattoo I’d go for a floral design such as I saw on tiles and on the walls of mosques when I recently visited Istanbul or I’d get one that looked like a Hokkusai (sp?) painting — love the colors and flowing shapes — or a Chinese dragon.

    Reply
  50. My oldest son took the money he got as gifts when he graduated high school and got his first tattoo (that and his signing up for the Army Reserves really brought home to my husband and I that 18 y.o. are legally adults and can do what they want here in the US). He now has several scattered about his upper body, although he had to have a few altered before he went to Iraq in case he was captured. My favorite is two figures from a Chagall painting.
    Must admit, however, that I’m actually not a fan. Too often people in their 20s get tattoos on body parts that sag in their 50s, and the effect is not felicitous. Not to mention I always wonder about what happens when and if one gets bored with the tattoos one has. Henna strikes me as perfect, as it’s beautiful but fades relatively quickly, and you can get a different design each time.
    While the likelihood is small (see comments above), if I were to get a tattoo I’d go for a floral design such as I saw on tiles and on the walls of mosques when I recently visited Istanbul or I’d get one that looked like a Hokkusai (sp?) painting — love the colors and flowing shapes — or a Chinese dragon.

    Reply
  51. Great post Nicola.
    I’m with Linda on the pain.
    I haven’t a tattoo mostly for that reason.
    But, if I were to have one (in the 1800’s) it would have to be something controversial… like the All-Seeing Eye with a double-bar cross in the pupil.
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  52. Great post Nicola.
    I’m with Linda on the pain.
    I haven’t a tattoo mostly for that reason.
    But, if I were to have one (in the 1800’s) it would have to be something controversial… like the All-Seeing Eye with a double-bar cross in the pupil.
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  53. Great post Nicola.
    I’m with Linda on the pain.
    I haven’t a tattoo mostly for that reason.
    But, if I were to have one (in the 1800’s) it would have to be something controversial… like the All-Seeing Eye with a double-bar cross in the pupil.
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  54. Great post Nicola.
    I’m with Linda on the pain.
    I haven’t a tattoo mostly for that reason.
    But, if I were to have one (in the 1800’s) it would have to be something controversial… like the All-Seeing Eye with a double-bar cross in the pupil.
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  55. Great post Nicola.
    I’m with Linda on the pain.
    I haven’t a tattoo mostly for that reason.
    But, if I were to have one (in the 1800’s) it would have to be something controversial… like the All-Seeing Eye with a double-bar cross in the pupil.
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  56. I horrified my daughter recently by commenting that if I were young I might get a tattoo. Oak leaves, perhaps, since I’ve been a Jacobite ever since I fell in love with Allan Breck Stewart at the age of 11. However, I would probably go for a spot generally hidden, the lower back, perhaps. I can’t help thinking a tattoo looks pretty silly when you are pushing 70.

    Reply
  57. I horrified my daughter recently by commenting that if I were young I might get a tattoo. Oak leaves, perhaps, since I’ve been a Jacobite ever since I fell in love with Allan Breck Stewart at the age of 11. However, I would probably go for a spot generally hidden, the lower back, perhaps. I can’t help thinking a tattoo looks pretty silly when you are pushing 70.

    Reply
  58. I horrified my daughter recently by commenting that if I were young I might get a tattoo. Oak leaves, perhaps, since I’ve been a Jacobite ever since I fell in love with Allan Breck Stewart at the age of 11. However, I would probably go for a spot generally hidden, the lower back, perhaps. I can’t help thinking a tattoo looks pretty silly when you are pushing 70.

    Reply
  59. I horrified my daughter recently by commenting that if I were young I might get a tattoo. Oak leaves, perhaps, since I’ve been a Jacobite ever since I fell in love with Allan Breck Stewart at the age of 11. However, I would probably go for a spot generally hidden, the lower back, perhaps. I can’t help thinking a tattoo looks pretty silly when you are pushing 70.

    Reply
  60. I horrified my daughter recently by commenting that if I were young I might get a tattoo. Oak leaves, perhaps, since I’ve been a Jacobite ever since I fell in love with Allan Breck Stewart at the age of 11. However, I would probably go for a spot generally hidden, the lower back, perhaps. I can’t help thinking a tattoo looks pretty silly when you are pushing 70.

    Reply
  61. I’m loving this discussion and the different ideas everyone has for that hypothetical tattoo! Jane, I’m a great fan of Allan Breck Stewart too so I like your Jacobite idea. Floral designs appeal to me too but I love some of the stronger images, the eye, the dragon. All this speculating when I know I’m not going to do it LOL!

    Reply
  62. I’m loving this discussion and the different ideas everyone has for that hypothetical tattoo! Jane, I’m a great fan of Allan Breck Stewart too so I like your Jacobite idea. Floral designs appeal to me too but I love some of the stronger images, the eye, the dragon. All this speculating when I know I’m not going to do it LOL!

    Reply
  63. I’m loving this discussion and the different ideas everyone has for that hypothetical tattoo! Jane, I’m a great fan of Allan Breck Stewart too so I like your Jacobite idea. Floral designs appeal to me too but I love some of the stronger images, the eye, the dragon. All this speculating when I know I’m not going to do it LOL!

    Reply
  64. I’m loving this discussion and the different ideas everyone has for that hypothetical tattoo! Jane, I’m a great fan of Allan Breck Stewart too so I like your Jacobite idea. Floral designs appeal to me too but I love some of the stronger images, the eye, the dragon. All this speculating when I know I’m not going to do it LOL!

    Reply
  65. I’m loving this discussion and the different ideas everyone has for that hypothetical tattoo! Jane, I’m a great fan of Allan Breck Stewart too so I like your Jacobite idea. Floral designs appeal to me too but I love some of the stronger images, the eye, the dragon. All this speculating when I know I’m not going to do it LOL!

    Reply
  66. I’m much too leery of the permanence of tattoos. While I think they can be sexy on an alpha warrior, in real life, I’m not so fond of them.
    I’m also too chicken to ever get one. Needles and I don’t get along. 🙂

    Reply
  67. I’m much too leery of the permanence of tattoos. While I think they can be sexy on an alpha warrior, in real life, I’m not so fond of them.
    I’m also too chicken to ever get one. Needles and I don’t get along. 🙂

    Reply
  68. I’m much too leery of the permanence of tattoos. While I think they can be sexy on an alpha warrior, in real life, I’m not so fond of them.
    I’m also too chicken to ever get one. Needles and I don’t get along. 🙂

    Reply
  69. I’m much too leery of the permanence of tattoos. While I think they can be sexy on an alpha warrior, in real life, I’m not so fond of them.
    I’m also too chicken to ever get one. Needles and I don’t get along. 🙂

    Reply
  70. I’m much too leery of the permanence of tattoos. While I think they can be sexy on an alpha warrior, in real life, I’m not so fond of them.
    I’m also too chicken to ever get one. Needles and I don’t get along. 🙂

    Reply
  71. I’m ambivalent about tats. Would never get one myself, though I was tempted when a friend got a cosmetic tattoo–eyeliner. No more dealing with eyeliner pencils! It was very well done, and accented her eyes beautifully. If I could get the eyeliner tat without pain, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
    But then this friend went and had her lips tattooed a dusky rose color, so that it looked like she was wearing lipstick with a subtle lip liner in a slightly darker shade. Nuh-uh! Not for me!

    Reply
  72. I’m ambivalent about tats. Would never get one myself, though I was tempted when a friend got a cosmetic tattoo–eyeliner. No more dealing with eyeliner pencils! It was very well done, and accented her eyes beautifully. If I could get the eyeliner tat without pain, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
    But then this friend went and had her lips tattooed a dusky rose color, so that it looked like she was wearing lipstick with a subtle lip liner in a slightly darker shade. Nuh-uh! Not for me!

    Reply
  73. I’m ambivalent about tats. Would never get one myself, though I was tempted when a friend got a cosmetic tattoo–eyeliner. No more dealing with eyeliner pencils! It was very well done, and accented her eyes beautifully. If I could get the eyeliner tat without pain, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
    But then this friend went and had her lips tattooed a dusky rose color, so that it looked like she was wearing lipstick with a subtle lip liner in a slightly darker shade. Nuh-uh! Not for me!

    Reply
  74. I’m ambivalent about tats. Would never get one myself, though I was tempted when a friend got a cosmetic tattoo–eyeliner. No more dealing with eyeliner pencils! It was very well done, and accented her eyes beautifully. If I could get the eyeliner tat without pain, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
    But then this friend went and had her lips tattooed a dusky rose color, so that it looked like she was wearing lipstick with a subtle lip liner in a slightly darker shade. Nuh-uh! Not for me!

    Reply
  75. I’m ambivalent about tats. Would never get one myself, though I was tempted when a friend got a cosmetic tattoo–eyeliner. No more dealing with eyeliner pencils! It was very well done, and accented her eyes beautifully. If I could get the eyeliner tat without pain, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
    But then this friend went and had her lips tattooed a dusky rose color, so that it looked like she was wearing lipstick with a subtle lip liner in a slightly darker shade. Nuh-uh! Not for me!

    Reply
  76. I think I’d get a celtic knot. Although if I did get a tattoo, I’d have to be really really drunk, and I’d probably forget it had to be a historical tattoo.

    Reply
  77. I think I’d get a celtic knot. Although if I did get a tattoo, I’d have to be really really drunk, and I’d probably forget it had to be a historical tattoo.

    Reply
  78. I think I’d get a celtic knot. Although if I did get a tattoo, I’d have to be really really drunk, and I’d probably forget it had to be a historical tattoo.

    Reply
  79. I think I’d get a celtic knot. Although if I did get a tattoo, I’d have to be really really drunk, and I’d probably forget it had to be a historical tattoo.

    Reply
  80. I think I’d get a celtic knot. Although if I did get a tattoo, I’d have to be really really drunk, and I’d probably forget it had to be a historical tattoo.

    Reply
  81. Fascinating post, Nicola, I, too, am awfully squeamish when it comes to needles. I also don’t like the idea of something permenent on my skin . . .just doesn’t do it for my.
    I have used tatoos in my Regency-set books. My female spies sported tiny tatoos as their badge of honor—it make them a little racy and naughty. As your blog says, it wasn’t anything a peoper lady ought to have. Naturally, their love interests found it intriguing!
    Anyway, thanks for the history. I love how I learn all sorts of interesting, arcane facts here.

    Reply
  82. Fascinating post, Nicola, I, too, am awfully squeamish when it comes to needles. I also don’t like the idea of something permenent on my skin . . .just doesn’t do it for my.
    I have used tatoos in my Regency-set books. My female spies sported tiny tatoos as their badge of honor—it make them a little racy and naughty. As your blog says, it wasn’t anything a peoper lady ought to have. Naturally, their love interests found it intriguing!
    Anyway, thanks for the history. I love how I learn all sorts of interesting, arcane facts here.

    Reply
  83. Fascinating post, Nicola, I, too, am awfully squeamish when it comes to needles. I also don’t like the idea of something permenent on my skin . . .just doesn’t do it for my.
    I have used tatoos in my Regency-set books. My female spies sported tiny tatoos as their badge of honor—it make them a little racy and naughty. As your blog says, it wasn’t anything a peoper lady ought to have. Naturally, their love interests found it intriguing!
    Anyway, thanks for the history. I love how I learn all sorts of interesting, arcane facts here.

    Reply
  84. Fascinating post, Nicola, I, too, am awfully squeamish when it comes to needles. I also don’t like the idea of something permenent on my skin . . .just doesn’t do it for my.
    I have used tatoos in my Regency-set books. My female spies sported tiny tatoos as their badge of honor—it make them a little racy and naughty. As your blog says, it wasn’t anything a peoper lady ought to have. Naturally, their love interests found it intriguing!
    Anyway, thanks for the history. I love how I learn all sorts of interesting, arcane facts here.

    Reply
  85. Fascinating post, Nicola, I, too, am awfully squeamish when it comes to needles. I also don’t like the idea of something permenent on my skin . . .just doesn’t do it for my.
    I have used tatoos in my Regency-set books. My female spies sported tiny tatoos as their badge of honor—it make them a little racy and naughty. As your blog says, it wasn’t anything a peoper lady ought to have. Naturally, their love interests found it intriguing!
    Anyway, thanks for the history. I love how I learn all sorts of interesting, arcane facts here.

    Reply
  86. Fascinating info, Nicola, thank you! That’s an original area of conflict for your poor heroine.
    Linda B, I think we must have been separated at birth. Ear piercing and tattoos appear to be a form of self mutilation as far as I’m concerned, and pain really doesn’t interest me. “G”

    Reply
  87. Fascinating info, Nicola, thank you! That’s an original area of conflict for your poor heroine.
    Linda B, I think we must have been separated at birth. Ear piercing and tattoos appear to be a form of self mutilation as far as I’m concerned, and pain really doesn’t interest me. “G”

    Reply
  88. Fascinating info, Nicola, thank you! That’s an original area of conflict for your poor heroine.
    Linda B, I think we must have been separated at birth. Ear piercing and tattoos appear to be a form of self mutilation as far as I’m concerned, and pain really doesn’t interest me. “G”

    Reply
  89. Fascinating info, Nicola, thank you! That’s an original area of conflict for your poor heroine.
    Linda B, I think we must have been separated at birth. Ear piercing and tattoos appear to be a form of self mutilation as far as I’m concerned, and pain really doesn’t interest me. “G”

    Reply
  90. Fascinating info, Nicola, thank you! That’s an original area of conflict for your poor heroine.
    Linda B, I think we must have been separated at birth. Ear piercing and tattoos appear to be a form of self mutilation as far as I’m concerned, and pain really doesn’t interest me. “G”

    Reply
  91. I always told my nieces that a piercing (anywhere) was better than a tattoo, because when you were tired of it, you merely had to remove the ring (what have you) and the hole would close up.
    I’ve often wondered about people who get cartoon characters tattooed on their bodies. Um, what’s so special about that caterpillar that you want it on your breast? And when you stretch/sag it won’t look quite so nice…

    Reply
  92. I always told my nieces that a piercing (anywhere) was better than a tattoo, because when you were tired of it, you merely had to remove the ring (what have you) and the hole would close up.
    I’ve often wondered about people who get cartoon characters tattooed on their bodies. Um, what’s so special about that caterpillar that you want it on your breast? And when you stretch/sag it won’t look quite so nice…

    Reply
  93. I always told my nieces that a piercing (anywhere) was better than a tattoo, because when you were tired of it, you merely had to remove the ring (what have you) and the hole would close up.
    I’ve often wondered about people who get cartoon characters tattooed on their bodies. Um, what’s so special about that caterpillar that you want it on your breast? And when you stretch/sag it won’t look quite so nice…

    Reply
  94. I always told my nieces that a piercing (anywhere) was better than a tattoo, because when you were tired of it, you merely had to remove the ring (what have you) and the hole would close up.
    I’ve often wondered about people who get cartoon characters tattooed on their bodies. Um, what’s so special about that caterpillar that you want it on your breast? And when you stretch/sag it won’t look quite so nice…

    Reply
  95. I always told my nieces that a piercing (anywhere) was better than a tattoo, because when you were tired of it, you merely had to remove the ring (what have you) and the hole would close up.
    I’ve often wondered about people who get cartoon characters tattooed on their bodies. Um, what’s so special about that caterpillar that you want it on your breast? And when you stretch/sag it won’t look quite so nice…

    Reply
  96. If I had a tattoo, it would be celtic. I’d like a celtic madala in the center of my back. It would have the tree of life in the center and several bands of celtic knots around the border.

    Reply
  97. If I had a tattoo, it would be celtic. I’d like a celtic madala in the center of my back. It would have the tree of life in the center and several bands of celtic knots around the border.

    Reply
  98. If I had a tattoo, it would be celtic. I’d like a celtic madala in the center of my back. It would have the tree of life in the center and several bands of celtic knots around the border.

    Reply
  99. If I had a tattoo, it would be celtic. I’d like a celtic madala in the center of my back. It would have the tree of life in the center and several bands of celtic knots around the border.

    Reply
  100. If I had a tattoo, it would be celtic. I’d like a celtic madala in the center of my back. It would have the tree of life in the center and several bands of celtic knots around the border.

    Reply
  101. Given the context and the fact that I live in Hawaii, I’d have to come down in favor of a Polynesian style, but not in the typical places – Polynesian women got facial tattoos – so, geometric, but someplace more subtle than is traditional in Polynesian culture for females.

    Reply
  102. Given the context and the fact that I live in Hawaii, I’d have to come down in favor of a Polynesian style, but not in the typical places – Polynesian women got facial tattoos – so, geometric, but someplace more subtle than is traditional in Polynesian culture for females.

    Reply
  103. Given the context and the fact that I live in Hawaii, I’d have to come down in favor of a Polynesian style, but not in the typical places – Polynesian women got facial tattoos – so, geometric, but someplace more subtle than is traditional in Polynesian culture for females.

    Reply
  104. Given the context and the fact that I live in Hawaii, I’d have to come down in favor of a Polynesian style, but not in the typical places – Polynesian women got facial tattoos – so, geometric, but someplace more subtle than is traditional in Polynesian culture for females.

    Reply
  105. Given the context and the fact that I live in Hawaii, I’d have to come down in favor of a Polynesian style, but not in the typical places – Polynesian women got facial tattoos – so, geometric, but someplace more subtle than is traditional in Polynesian culture for females.

    Reply
  106. Interesting that so many of us are too squeamish to consider a tattoo but what a great variety of images we’d choose if we *did* go for it!
    Andrea,the tattoo is the perfect badge of honour for your fabulous lady spies, isn’t it – racy, unusual and very, very naughty!

    Reply
  107. Interesting that so many of us are too squeamish to consider a tattoo but what a great variety of images we’d choose if we *did* go for it!
    Andrea,the tattoo is the perfect badge of honour for your fabulous lady spies, isn’t it – racy, unusual and very, very naughty!

    Reply
  108. Interesting that so many of us are too squeamish to consider a tattoo but what a great variety of images we’d choose if we *did* go for it!
    Andrea,the tattoo is the perfect badge of honour for your fabulous lady spies, isn’t it – racy, unusual and very, very naughty!

    Reply
  109. Interesting that so many of us are too squeamish to consider a tattoo but what a great variety of images we’d choose if we *did* go for it!
    Andrea,the tattoo is the perfect badge of honour for your fabulous lady spies, isn’t it – racy, unusual and very, very naughty!

    Reply
  110. Interesting that so many of us are too squeamish to consider a tattoo but what a great variety of images we’d choose if we *did* go for it!
    Andrea,the tattoo is the perfect badge of honour for your fabulous lady spies, isn’t it – racy, unusual and very, very naughty!

    Reply
  111. I am not into tattoos myself. If I did do it I’d choose a simple cross with a wheat stem on one side and a red rose on the other; the cross represents my faith, the wheat my Dad(a farmer) and the rose my Mom(her name was Rose).
    I believe crosses were choices in history.

    Reply
  112. I am not into tattoos myself. If I did do it I’d choose a simple cross with a wheat stem on one side and a red rose on the other; the cross represents my faith, the wheat my Dad(a farmer) and the rose my Mom(her name was Rose).
    I believe crosses were choices in history.

    Reply
  113. I am not into tattoos myself. If I did do it I’d choose a simple cross with a wheat stem on one side and a red rose on the other; the cross represents my faith, the wheat my Dad(a farmer) and the rose my Mom(her name was Rose).
    I believe crosses were choices in history.

    Reply
  114. I am not into tattoos myself. If I did do it I’d choose a simple cross with a wheat stem on one side and a red rose on the other; the cross represents my faith, the wheat my Dad(a farmer) and the rose my Mom(her name was Rose).
    I believe crosses were choices in history.

    Reply
  115. I am not into tattoos myself. If I did do it I’d choose a simple cross with a wheat stem on one side and a red rose on the other; the cross represents my faith, the wheat my Dad(a farmer) and the rose my Mom(her name was Rose).
    I believe crosses were choices in history.

    Reply
  116. I remember having this discussion here last year on the occasion of Loretta Chase’s 2008 release. Her heroine had a tattoo as well. This present spate of tattooed heroines proves again – if any further proof were needed – that historical heroines are for a large part reflections of our modern selves.
    Personally, I would never have a tattoo, but then I’m middle-aged. But having seen tattoos on my grandfather’s and father’s generation (I come from a sea-faring family on my father’s side), even as a teenager I knew that tattoos on a wrinkled and sagging skin were not pretty. And we’re just talking underarms here, so I shudder to think how tattoos on fleshier body parts will look after the passage of time.
    So I fervently agree with Piper on that point. As to piercings disappearing when you remove the stud/ring: have you seen those people who wear little circles inside their ear piercings, presumably enlarging them gradually? There’s no changing your mind about those. After a while you will have a permanent hole in your earlobe.
    A few months ago I saw a TV programme where a dentist examined several people with studs and rings in their tongues and lips. Apparently all of these people in their twenties had already done some damage to their teeth. All of them said, oh well, what’s done is done. None of them were going to remove their piercings and none of them seemed to realise that the damage would go on. That must be something they will regret in twenty years time.
    In addition to all the objections to tattoos I mentioned, I cannot think of an image I would like to carry around with me permanently on my skin. I would of course like Louis bear radiation marks gladly, but in my country I think they just use indelible marker (big crosses) and tell you to wash round that bit. At least, that’s what they did when my mother had radiation therapy twenty years ago.

    Reply
  117. I remember having this discussion here last year on the occasion of Loretta Chase’s 2008 release. Her heroine had a tattoo as well. This present spate of tattooed heroines proves again – if any further proof were needed – that historical heroines are for a large part reflections of our modern selves.
    Personally, I would never have a tattoo, but then I’m middle-aged. But having seen tattoos on my grandfather’s and father’s generation (I come from a sea-faring family on my father’s side), even as a teenager I knew that tattoos on a wrinkled and sagging skin were not pretty. And we’re just talking underarms here, so I shudder to think how tattoos on fleshier body parts will look after the passage of time.
    So I fervently agree with Piper on that point. As to piercings disappearing when you remove the stud/ring: have you seen those people who wear little circles inside their ear piercings, presumably enlarging them gradually? There’s no changing your mind about those. After a while you will have a permanent hole in your earlobe.
    A few months ago I saw a TV programme where a dentist examined several people with studs and rings in their tongues and lips. Apparently all of these people in their twenties had already done some damage to their teeth. All of them said, oh well, what’s done is done. None of them were going to remove their piercings and none of them seemed to realise that the damage would go on. That must be something they will regret in twenty years time.
    In addition to all the objections to tattoos I mentioned, I cannot think of an image I would like to carry around with me permanently on my skin. I would of course like Louis bear radiation marks gladly, but in my country I think they just use indelible marker (big crosses) and tell you to wash round that bit. At least, that’s what they did when my mother had radiation therapy twenty years ago.

    Reply
  118. I remember having this discussion here last year on the occasion of Loretta Chase’s 2008 release. Her heroine had a tattoo as well. This present spate of tattooed heroines proves again – if any further proof were needed – that historical heroines are for a large part reflections of our modern selves.
    Personally, I would never have a tattoo, but then I’m middle-aged. But having seen tattoos on my grandfather’s and father’s generation (I come from a sea-faring family on my father’s side), even as a teenager I knew that tattoos on a wrinkled and sagging skin were not pretty. And we’re just talking underarms here, so I shudder to think how tattoos on fleshier body parts will look after the passage of time.
    So I fervently agree with Piper on that point. As to piercings disappearing when you remove the stud/ring: have you seen those people who wear little circles inside their ear piercings, presumably enlarging them gradually? There’s no changing your mind about those. After a while you will have a permanent hole in your earlobe.
    A few months ago I saw a TV programme where a dentist examined several people with studs and rings in their tongues and lips. Apparently all of these people in their twenties had already done some damage to their teeth. All of them said, oh well, what’s done is done. None of them were going to remove their piercings and none of them seemed to realise that the damage would go on. That must be something they will regret in twenty years time.
    In addition to all the objections to tattoos I mentioned, I cannot think of an image I would like to carry around with me permanently on my skin. I would of course like Louis bear radiation marks gladly, but in my country I think they just use indelible marker (big crosses) and tell you to wash round that bit. At least, that’s what they did when my mother had radiation therapy twenty years ago.

    Reply
  119. I remember having this discussion here last year on the occasion of Loretta Chase’s 2008 release. Her heroine had a tattoo as well. This present spate of tattooed heroines proves again – if any further proof were needed – that historical heroines are for a large part reflections of our modern selves.
    Personally, I would never have a tattoo, but then I’m middle-aged. But having seen tattoos on my grandfather’s and father’s generation (I come from a sea-faring family on my father’s side), even as a teenager I knew that tattoos on a wrinkled and sagging skin were not pretty. And we’re just talking underarms here, so I shudder to think how tattoos on fleshier body parts will look after the passage of time.
    So I fervently agree with Piper on that point. As to piercings disappearing when you remove the stud/ring: have you seen those people who wear little circles inside their ear piercings, presumably enlarging them gradually? There’s no changing your mind about those. After a while you will have a permanent hole in your earlobe.
    A few months ago I saw a TV programme where a dentist examined several people with studs and rings in their tongues and lips. Apparently all of these people in their twenties had already done some damage to their teeth. All of them said, oh well, what’s done is done. None of them were going to remove their piercings and none of them seemed to realise that the damage would go on. That must be something they will regret in twenty years time.
    In addition to all the objections to tattoos I mentioned, I cannot think of an image I would like to carry around with me permanently on my skin. I would of course like Louis bear radiation marks gladly, but in my country I think they just use indelible marker (big crosses) and tell you to wash round that bit. At least, that’s what they did when my mother had radiation therapy twenty years ago.

    Reply
  120. I remember having this discussion here last year on the occasion of Loretta Chase’s 2008 release. Her heroine had a tattoo as well. This present spate of tattooed heroines proves again – if any further proof were needed – that historical heroines are for a large part reflections of our modern selves.
    Personally, I would never have a tattoo, but then I’m middle-aged. But having seen tattoos on my grandfather’s and father’s generation (I come from a sea-faring family on my father’s side), even as a teenager I knew that tattoos on a wrinkled and sagging skin were not pretty. And we’re just talking underarms here, so I shudder to think how tattoos on fleshier body parts will look after the passage of time.
    So I fervently agree with Piper on that point. As to piercings disappearing when you remove the stud/ring: have you seen those people who wear little circles inside their ear piercings, presumably enlarging them gradually? There’s no changing your mind about those. After a while you will have a permanent hole in your earlobe.
    A few months ago I saw a TV programme where a dentist examined several people with studs and rings in their tongues and lips. Apparently all of these people in their twenties had already done some damage to their teeth. All of them said, oh well, what’s done is done. None of them were going to remove their piercings and none of them seemed to realise that the damage would go on. That must be something they will regret in twenty years time.
    In addition to all the objections to tattoos I mentioned, I cannot think of an image I would like to carry around with me permanently on my skin. I would of course like Louis bear radiation marks gladly, but in my country I think they just use indelible marker (big crosses) and tell you to wash round that bit. At least, that’s what they did when my mother had radiation therapy twenty years ago.

    Reply
  121. I didn’t realise this topic had been discussed on the Wenches before – being new I have read through with interest a large number of previous posts but hadn’t picked that one up. That’s a very interesting observation about heroines reflecting our modern selves, Ingrid. Firstly it’s interesting that several authors should choose to put certain elements in their books without knowing that other people have done the same. How many times have I heard an author outlining some aspect of their book and thought: “But I’m writing about that!” Are we picking up on the same cultural vibes or is there something in the ether? As a writer I’m always looking for a historical take on a contemporary theme so, for example, I wrote about nineteenth century celebrity in Lord of Scandal. Tattoos really aren’t my thing, but maybe I subconsciously thought it was a significant feature of modern culture and so decided to use it in a book.

    Reply
  122. I didn’t realise this topic had been discussed on the Wenches before – being new I have read through with interest a large number of previous posts but hadn’t picked that one up. That’s a very interesting observation about heroines reflecting our modern selves, Ingrid. Firstly it’s interesting that several authors should choose to put certain elements in their books without knowing that other people have done the same. How many times have I heard an author outlining some aspect of their book and thought: “But I’m writing about that!” Are we picking up on the same cultural vibes or is there something in the ether? As a writer I’m always looking for a historical take on a contemporary theme so, for example, I wrote about nineteenth century celebrity in Lord of Scandal. Tattoos really aren’t my thing, but maybe I subconsciously thought it was a significant feature of modern culture and so decided to use it in a book.

    Reply
  123. I didn’t realise this topic had been discussed on the Wenches before – being new I have read through with interest a large number of previous posts but hadn’t picked that one up. That’s a very interesting observation about heroines reflecting our modern selves, Ingrid. Firstly it’s interesting that several authors should choose to put certain elements in their books without knowing that other people have done the same. How many times have I heard an author outlining some aspect of their book and thought: “But I’m writing about that!” Are we picking up on the same cultural vibes or is there something in the ether? As a writer I’m always looking for a historical take on a contemporary theme so, for example, I wrote about nineteenth century celebrity in Lord of Scandal. Tattoos really aren’t my thing, but maybe I subconsciously thought it was a significant feature of modern culture and so decided to use it in a book.

    Reply
  124. I didn’t realise this topic had been discussed on the Wenches before – being new I have read through with interest a large number of previous posts but hadn’t picked that one up. That’s a very interesting observation about heroines reflecting our modern selves, Ingrid. Firstly it’s interesting that several authors should choose to put certain elements in their books without knowing that other people have done the same. How many times have I heard an author outlining some aspect of their book and thought: “But I’m writing about that!” Are we picking up on the same cultural vibes or is there something in the ether? As a writer I’m always looking for a historical take on a contemporary theme so, for example, I wrote about nineteenth century celebrity in Lord of Scandal. Tattoos really aren’t my thing, but maybe I subconsciously thought it was a significant feature of modern culture and so decided to use it in a book.

    Reply
  125. I didn’t realise this topic had been discussed on the Wenches before – being new I have read through with interest a large number of previous posts but hadn’t picked that one up. That’s a very interesting observation about heroines reflecting our modern selves, Ingrid. Firstly it’s interesting that several authors should choose to put certain elements in their books without knowing that other people have done the same. How many times have I heard an author outlining some aspect of their book and thought: “But I’m writing about that!” Are we picking up on the same cultural vibes or is there something in the ether? As a writer I’m always looking for a historical take on a contemporary theme so, for example, I wrote about nineteenth century celebrity in Lord of Scandal. Tattoos really aren’t my thing, but maybe I subconsciously thought it was a significant feature of modern culture and so decided to use it in a book.

    Reply
  126. Thanks for the interesting post, Nicola! I’ve noticed in the past two or three years an absolute glut of tattooed women in urban fantasy novels. Richelle Mead’s _Dark Swan_ series, Michelle Sagara’s _Cast_ series are two that pop into my head, but the list goes on. Every time I browse the sci-fi/fantasy isle, I’m amazed at how many covers include heavily tattooed women. Often the authors creatively weave the tattoo images into the storyline—the tattoos serve as signs of invocation or have some other mystical significance to the plot. As there is certainly some overlap between romance and fantasy genres, I wonder if images of tattooed women are seeping into romance partially because of their heavy representation in urban fantasy.
    I agree that tattoos have become a strong part of our modern cultural consciousness. It’s stood out to me how, even just in the past ten years, they have become increasingly acceptable and accepted in most environments. For example, walking around the city where I live, at least 3/4 of the under-forty crowd I encounter on any given day has a visible tattoo – from the bike-riding punks, the businessmen who are dressed down to go to a sports bar, to their dates wearing halter-tops and heels. Cher even had all her tattoos removed about ten years back because she claimed they had become too popular, and she felt that having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone unique anymore. In my opinion, it’s another way we’ve found to express our (American/Western) ideal of rugged individualism which we perceive as increasingly threatened by anonymity resulting from globalization, mass-production, and overpopulation. In other words: the usual post-modern experience.
    And yes, I’m a fan of tattoos. I have many 😉

    Reply
  127. Thanks for the interesting post, Nicola! I’ve noticed in the past two or three years an absolute glut of tattooed women in urban fantasy novels. Richelle Mead’s _Dark Swan_ series, Michelle Sagara’s _Cast_ series are two that pop into my head, but the list goes on. Every time I browse the sci-fi/fantasy isle, I’m amazed at how many covers include heavily tattooed women. Often the authors creatively weave the tattoo images into the storyline—the tattoos serve as signs of invocation or have some other mystical significance to the plot. As there is certainly some overlap between romance and fantasy genres, I wonder if images of tattooed women are seeping into romance partially because of their heavy representation in urban fantasy.
    I agree that tattoos have become a strong part of our modern cultural consciousness. It’s stood out to me how, even just in the past ten years, they have become increasingly acceptable and accepted in most environments. For example, walking around the city where I live, at least 3/4 of the under-forty crowd I encounter on any given day has a visible tattoo – from the bike-riding punks, the businessmen who are dressed down to go to a sports bar, to their dates wearing halter-tops and heels. Cher even had all her tattoos removed about ten years back because she claimed they had become too popular, and she felt that having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone unique anymore. In my opinion, it’s another way we’ve found to express our (American/Western) ideal of rugged individualism which we perceive as increasingly threatened by anonymity resulting from globalization, mass-production, and overpopulation. In other words: the usual post-modern experience.
    And yes, I’m a fan of tattoos. I have many 😉

    Reply
  128. Thanks for the interesting post, Nicola! I’ve noticed in the past two or three years an absolute glut of tattooed women in urban fantasy novels. Richelle Mead’s _Dark Swan_ series, Michelle Sagara’s _Cast_ series are two that pop into my head, but the list goes on. Every time I browse the sci-fi/fantasy isle, I’m amazed at how many covers include heavily tattooed women. Often the authors creatively weave the tattoo images into the storyline—the tattoos serve as signs of invocation or have some other mystical significance to the plot. As there is certainly some overlap between romance and fantasy genres, I wonder if images of tattooed women are seeping into romance partially because of their heavy representation in urban fantasy.
    I agree that tattoos have become a strong part of our modern cultural consciousness. It’s stood out to me how, even just in the past ten years, they have become increasingly acceptable and accepted in most environments. For example, walking around the city where I live, at least 3/4 of the under-forty crowd I encounter on any given day has a visible tattoo – from the bike-riding punks, the businessmen who are dressed down to go to a sports bar, to their dates wearing halter-tops and heels. Cher even had all her tattoos removed about ten years back because she claimed they had become too popular, and she felt that having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone unique anymore. In my opinion, it’s another way we’ve found to express our (American/Western) ideal of rugged individualism which we perceive as increasingly threatened by anonymity resulting from globalization, mass-production, and overpopulation. In other words: the usual post-modern experience.
    And yes, I’m a fan of tattoos. I have many 😉

    Reply
  129. Thanks for the interesting post, Nicola! I’ve noticed in the past two or three years an absolute glut of tattooed women in urban fantasy novels. Richelle Mead’s _Dark Swan_ series, Michelle Sagara’s _Cast_ series are two that pop into my head, but the list goes on. Every time I browse the sci-fi/fantasy isle, I’m amazed at how many covers include heavily tattooed women. Often the authors creatively weave the tattoo images into the storyline—the tattoos serve as signs of invocation or have some other mystical significance to the plot. As there is certainly some overlap between romance and fantasy genres, I wonder if images of tattooed women are seeping into romance partially because of their heavy representation in urban fantasy.
    I agree that tattoos have become a strong part of our modern cultural consciousness. It’s stood out to me how, even just in the past ten years, they have become increasingly acceptable and accepted in most environments. For example, walking around the city where I live, at least 3/4 of the under-forty crowd I encounter on any given day has a visible tattoo – from the bike-riding punks, the businessmen who are dressed down to go to a sports bar, to their dates wearing halter-tops and heels. Cher even had all her tattoos removed about ten years back because she claimed they had become too popular, and she felt that having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone unique anymore. In my opinion, it’s another way we’ve found to express our (American/Western) ideal of rugged individualism which we perceive as increasingly threatened by anonymity resulting from globalization, mass-production, and overpopulation. In other words: the usual post-modern experience.
    And yes, I’m a fan of tattoos. I have many 😉

    Reply
  130. Thanks for the interesting post, Nicola! I’ve noticed in the past two or three years an absolute glut of tattooed women in urban fantasy novels. Richelle Mead’s _Dark Swan_ series, Michelle Sagara’s _Cast_ series are two that pop into my head, but the list goes on. Every time I browse the sci-fi/fantasy isle, I’m amazed at how many covers include heavily tattooed women. Often the authors creatively weave the tattoo images into the storyline—the tattoos serve as signs of invocation or have some other mystical significance to the plot. As there is certainly some overlap between romance and fantasy genres, I wonder if images of tattooed women are seeping into romance partially because of their heavy representation in urban fantasy.
    I agree that tattoos have become a strong part of our modern cultural consciousness. It’s stood out to me how, even just in the past ten years, they have become increasingly acceptable and accepted in most environments. For example, walking around the city where I live, at least 3/4 of the under-forty crowd I encounter on any given day has a visible tattoo – from the bike-riding punks, the businessmen who are dressed down to go to a sports bar, to their dates wearing halter-tops and heels. Cher even had all her tattoos removed about ten years back because she claimed they had become too popular, and she felt that having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone unique anymore. In my opinion, it’s another way we’ve found to express our (American/Western) ideal of rugged individualism which we perceive as increasingly threatened by anonymity resulting from globalization, mass-production, and overpopulation. In other words: the usual post-modern experience.
    And yes, I’m a fan of tattoos. I have many 😉

    Reply
  131. Fabulous post, Nicola. I don’t have any tattoos (color me cowardly) but I do have a star-shaped birthmark, which is sort of like a natural tattoo. 😉
    I love the look of some tattoos, particularly Celtic and Maori designs. But some tattoos are badly done and ugly. In my early years of teaching I helped a girl get her ugly home-made tatts removed by a doctor, and after that a number of kids came to me for help with the same problem. For a short time I became known as the tattoo teacher — me, the cleanskin! LOL
    I also remember doing a home visit where the father of the student opened the door, and I stared him straight in the throat… where he had a prison tattoo which was a dotted line and the words “cut here.” Kind of distracting as we discussed his sons’ behavior…

    Reply
  132. Fabulous post, Nicola. I don’t have any tattoos (color me cowardly) but I do have a star-shaped birthmark, which is sort of like a natural tattoo. 😉
    I love the look of some tattoos, particularly Celtic and Maori designs. But some tattoos are badly done and ugly. In my early years of teaching I helped a girl get her ugly home-made tatts removed by a doctor, and after that a number of kids came to me for help with the same problem. For a short time I became known as the tattoo teacher — me, the cleanskin! LOL
    I also remember doing a home visit where the father of the student opened the door, and I stared him straight in the throat… where he had a prison tattoo which was a dotted line and the words “cut here.” Kind of distracting as we discussed his sons’ behavior…

    Reply
  133. Fabulous post, Nicola. I don’t have any tattoos (color me cowardly) but I do have a star-shaped birthmark, which is sort of like a natural tattoo. 😉
    I love the look of some tattoos, particularly Celtic and Maori designs. But some tattoos are badly done and ugly. In my early years of teaching I helped a girl get her ugly home-made tatts removed by a doctor, and after that a number of kids came to me for help with the same problem. For a short time I became known as the tattoo teacher — me, the cleanskin! LOL
    I also remember doing a home visit where the father of the student opened the door, and I stared him straight in the throat… where he had a prison tattoo which was a dotted line and the words “cut here.” Kind of distracting as we discussed his sons’ behavior…

    Reply
  134. Fabulous post, Nicola. I don’t have any tattoos (color me cowardly) but I do have a star-shaped birthmark, which is sort of like a natural tattoo. 😉
    I love the look of some tattoos, particularly Celtic and Maori designs. But some tattoos are badly done and ugly. In my early years of teaching I helped a girl get her ugly home-made tatts removed by a doctor, and after that a number of kids came to me for help with the same problem. For a short time I became known as the tattoo teacher — me, the cleanskin! LOL
    I also remember doing a home visit where the father of the student opened the door, and I stared him straight in the throat… where he had a prison tattoo which was a dotted line and the words “cut here.” Kind of distracting as we discussed his sons’ behavior…

    Reply
  135. Fabulous post, Nicola. I don’t have any tattoos (color me cowardly) but I do have a star-shaped birthmark, which is sort of like a natural tattoo. 😉
    I love the look of some tattoos, particularly Celtic and Maori designs. But some tattoos are badly done and ugly. In my early years of teaching I helped a girl get her ugly home-made tatts removed by a doctor, and after that a number of kids came to me for help with the same problem. For a short time I became known as the tattoo teacher — me, the cleanskin! LOL
    I also remember doing a home visit where the father of the student opened the door, and I stared him straight in the throat… where he had a prison tattoo which was a dotted line and the words “cut here.” Kind of distracting as we discussed his sons’ behavior…

    Reply
  136. Almost choked on my cup of tea when I read about your meeting with your student’s father, Anne!
    I’ve really enjoyed all the comments about tattoos and cultural identity, and the choices people would make for a tattoo of their own. There seem to be an awful lot of us who wouldn’t go for it because of the pain or the thought of what it might look like in later years!

    Reply
  137. Almost choked on my cup of tea when I read about your meeting with your student’s father, Anne!
    I’ve really enjoyed all the comments about tattoos and cultural identity, and the choices people would make for a tattoo of their own. There seem to be an awful lot of us who wouldn’t go for it because of the pain or the thought of what it might look like in later years!

    Reply
  138. Almost choked on my cup of tea when I read about your meeting with your student’s father, Anne!
    I’ve really enjoyed all the comments about tattoos and cultural identity, and the choices people would make for a tattoo of their own. There seem to be an awful lot of us who wouldn’t go for it because of the pain or the thought of what it might look like in later years!

    Reply
  139. Almost choked on my cup of tea when I read about your meeting with your student’s father, Anne!
    I’ve really enjoyed all the comments about tattoos and cultural identity, and the choices people would make for a tattoo of their own. There seem to be an awful lot of us who wouldn’t go for it because of the pain or the thought of what it might look like in later years!

    Reply
  140. Almost choked on my cup of tea when I read about your meeting with your student’s father, Anne!
    I’ve really enjoyed all the comments about tattoos and cultural identity, and the choices people would make for a tattoo of their own. There seem to be an awful lot of us who wouldn’t go for it because of the pain or the thought of what it might look like in later years!

    Reply
  141. Great post! I don’t have any tattoos, perhaps because of the pain but I could think of a small dragon….I love fairy tales!

    Reply
  142. Great post! I don’t have any tattoos, perhaps because of the pain but I could think of a small dragon….I love fairy tales!

    Reply
  143. Great post! I don’t have any tattoos, perhaps because of the pain but I could think of a small dragon….I love fairy tales!

    Reply
  144. Great post! I don’t have any tattoos, perhaps because of the pain but I could think of a small dragon….I love fairy tales!

    Reply
  145. Great post! I don’t have any tattoos, perhaps because of the pain but I could think of a small dragon….I love fairy tales!

    Reply
  146. Jo here, chiming in late.
    It is interesting how tattoos are not just popular but have significance. Mostly I think they’re seen as daring, literally marking people out as different, though as they become more common I’m not sure if it still works.
    Nicola, I love the idea of your heroine being indelibly marked as unsuitable.
    I’ve only given heroes tattoos. The first was in my first historical, Lord of My Heart, because tattoos were part of the Anglo Saxon culture and I wanted him to have a mark he couldn’t avoid, given as he ends up as a Norman knight during the Conquest.
    My three Georges each had tattoos — a dragon, a hawk, and a demon, from their nick names. They got them when going off to war at 16, so their bodies would be indentified. A typical teenage boy thing! And yes, they went down to Dover, because they were readily available in ports.
    Good point about saggy skin, but then our heroes and heroines will never sag, will they?
    Oh, I’ve just remembered. My MIP hero, the Duke of Ithorne has a tattoo. Part of playing at sea captain some of the time.
    Yup, tattoos are in.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  147. Jo here, chiming in late.
    It is interesting how tattoos are not just popular but have significance. Mostly I think they’re seen as daring, literally marking people out as different, though as they become more common I’m not sure if it still works.
    Nicola, I love the idea of your heroine being indelibly marked as unsuitable.
    I’ve only given heroes tattoos. The first was in my first historical, Lord of My Heart, because tattoos were part of the Anglo Saxon culture and I wanted him to have a mark he couldn’t avoid, given as he ends up as a Norman knight during the Conquest.
    My three Georges each had tattoos — a dragon, a hawk, and a demon, from their nick names. They got them when going off to war at 16, so their bodies would be indentified. A typical teenage boy thing! And yes, they went down to Dover, because they were readily available in ports.
    Good point about saggy skin, but then our heroes and heroines will never sag, will they?
    Oh, I’ve just remembered. My MIP hero, the Duke of Ithorne has a tattoo. Part of playing at sea captain some of the time.
    Yup, tattoos are in.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  148. Jo here, chiming in late.
    It is interesting how tattoos are not just popular but have significance. Mostly I think they’re seen as daring, literally marking people out as different, though as they become more common I’m not sure if it still works.
    Nicola, I love the idea of your heroine being indelibly marked as unsuitable.
    I’ve only given heroes tattoos. The first was in my first historical, Lord of My Heart, because tattoos were part of the Anglo Saxon culture and I wanted him to have a mark he couldn’t avoid, given as he ends up as a Norman knight during the Conquest.
    My three Georges each had tattoos — a dragon, a hawk, and a demon, from their nick names. They got them when going off to war at 16, so their bodies would be indentified. A typical teenage boy thing! And yes, they went down to Dover, because they were readily available in ports.
    Good point about saggy skin, but then our heroes and heroines will never sag, will they?
    Oh, I’ve just remembered. My MIP hero, the Duke of Ithorne has a tattoo. Part of playing at sea captain some of the time.
    Yup, tattoos are in.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  149. Jo here, chiming in late.
    It is interesting how tattoos are not just popular but have significance. Mostly I think they’re seen as daring, literally marking people out as different, though as they become more common I’m not sure if it still works.
    Nicola, I love the idea of your heroine being indelibly marked as unsuitable.
    I’ve only given heroes tattoos. The first was in my first historical, Lord of My Heart, because tattoos were part of the Anglo Saxon culture and I wanted him to have a mark he couldn’t avoid, given as he ends up as a Norman knight during the Conquest.
    My three Georges each had tattoos — a dragon, a hawk, and a demon, from their nick names. They got them when going off to war at 16, so their bodies would be indentified. A typical teenage boy thing! And yes, they went down to Dover, because they were readily available in ports.
    Good point about saggy skin, but then our heroes and heroines will never sag, will they?
    Oh, I’ve just remembered. My MIP hero, the Duke of Ithorne has a tattoo. Part of playing at sea captain some of the time.
    Yup, tattoos are in.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  150. Jo here, chiming in late.
    It is interesting how tattoos are not just popular but have significance. Mostly I think they’re seen as daring, literally marking people out as different, though as they become more common I’m not sure if it still works.
    Nicola, I love the idea of your heroine being indelibly marked as unsuitable.
    I’ve only given heroes tattoos. The first was in my first historical, Lord of My Heart, because tattoos were part of the Anglo Saxon culture and I wanted him to have a mark he couldn’t avoid, given as he ends up as a Norman knight during the Conquest.
    My three Georges each had tattoos — a dragon, a hawk, and a demon, from their nick names. They got them when going off to war at 16, so their bodies would be indentified. A typical teenage boy thing! And yes, they went down to Dover, because they were readily available in ports.
    Good point about saggy skin, but then our heroes and heroines will never sag, will they?
    Oh, I’ve just remembered. My MIP hero, the Duke of Ithorne has a tattoo. Part of playing at sea captain some of the time.
    Yup, tattoos are in.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply

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